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Western Digital to expand further as data application segment rises

By He Wei in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-10 09:14
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Western Digital, the US-based data storage solution provider, is banking on the rapid growth of data application services for further expansion in China. [Photo/Western Digital]

Western Digital, the US-based data storage solution provider, is banking on the rapid growth of data application services for further expansion in China, according to a senior company executive.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on businesses across the world, China has the capability to move faster than others and the widespread adoption of data services is a huge boon for the company, said Steven Craig, senior vice-president and general manager for China and the Asia-Pacific region at Western Digital.

"We see China as one of the fastest growing markets in the world," he said."A lot of the applications in the Chinese market tend to be pushing the boundaries, pushing the edge a lot more."

He made the remarks as the company unveiled latest generation of data center solutions that enable applications and workloads that require maximum throughput, low latency and enterprise-grade reliability.

According to Craig, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the amount of data that are getting stored and used has risen sharply along with the capabilities to access the data.

"I do believe that artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality are all ahead in the China market compared with the rest of the world. They have been adopted much faster," he said.

Western Digital's solutions serve to exert a great impact on enterprises and what they can do with data, particularly for real-time analytics, the internet of things and emerging technologies.

"Things they need the most from us are a continuity of supply, reliable and high-quality products, and products at competitive prices. It is always necessary to have competitive pricing," he said.

With manufacturing facilities in Shanghai and Shenzhen, Craig called China one of the company's key markets and said Western Digital remained committed to keeping its core functions in the country.

"Moving to other regions of the world, you might have the infrastructure challenges in the setup and lack of knowledge," he said."We have a very technical product, and there is a very solid workforce here. We have trained, we have got a lot of our engineering talent here... so we plan to keep our core functions here in China."

Consultancy Omdia forecast the global external data storage market will expand to $78 billion in 2024, rising at a 12 percent compound annual growth rate from $45 billion in 2019.

Notably, the Asia-Pacific region continues to grow driven by demand from enterprises and Chinese communications service providers for storage products.

"The uptick in APAC vendor revenue in the second half of 2019 was driven by enterprises and Chinese communications service providers taking advantage of favorable government economic policies and the easing of trade tensions," said Dennis Hahn, principal analyst at Omdia.

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